Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internet Encourages New Social Interaction, Research Shows

Date:
March 23, 1998
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Contrary to fears that the Internet will destroy community life, a University of Toronto sociologist says it could integrate society in new ways, including new ways of finding companionship and a sense of belonging through support groups and other online resources.

Contrary to fears that the Internet will destroy community life, a University of Toronto sociologist says it could integrate society in new ways.

Related Articles


In Networks in the Global Village, Professor Barry Wellman of the department of sociology and the Centre for Urban and Community Studies notes that Internet users can find companionship and a sense of belonging through support groups and other online resources. "There's been a big fear that there isn't enough emotional contact on the Net," says Wellman, who edited the book. "This turns out not to be true. There is clearly enough social presence online to allow people to relate to each other."

Electronic communities often operate according to principles that govern traditional communities such as reciprocity and attachment, he says in the chapter Net Surfers Don't Ride Alone: Virtual Communities as Communities, co-authored with Professor Milena Gulia of urban and community studies. While the Internet may accelerate the trend toward socializing in private homes rather than public places, the ease and speed of communicating with large numbers of people in cyberspace may stimulate new social interaction. Information about a person's socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender and age is absent online, which encourages relationships between people who otherwise might not communicate.

Social ties developed on computer networks tend to be informal, diverse and specialized according to shared interests, Wellman says, but intimate Internet relationships are also possible. They just take longer to develop because of the slower, less immediate nature of the interaction. "It may be a little harder, but you can do anything online including make love in virtual ways," he says.

Networks in the Global Village will be published by Westview Press this summer.

CONTACT:Megan EastonU of T Public Affairs(416) 978-0260e-mail: megan.easton@utoronto.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Internet Encourages New Social Interaction, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980320141110.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (1998, March 23). Internet Encourages New Social Interaction, Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980320141110.htm
University Of Toronto. "Internet Encourages New Social Interaction, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980320141110.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) Days after getting approval to test certain commercial drones, Amazon says the Federal Aviation Administration is dragging its feet on the matter. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Ups Its Messenger Game

Facebook Ups Its Messenger Game

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Facebook is taking another step towards making its users into consumers for its growing base of advertisers, by expanding its messenger service features. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins